Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The Pontotoc Trace
Located at the on the east side of Airways between Lamar and Park Ave. in Orange Mound. The following is from Paul R. Coppock’s “Mid-South Volume 4, 1979 – 1982.”
The Chickasaws, who lived near what now is Pontotoc, MS, and hunted where Memphis is, have been acclaimed for their abilities to make war on land, but hardly anyone gives them credit for accomplishments on the river. There were four years in the era of the 1720s when the Indians closed the Mississippi to French boats. The French had colonies in Illinois and in Louisiana, with the river as the only path between them. The French trade suffered so much that they encouraged the Choctaws to attack the Chickasaw. They offered the rival tribe in Southern Mississippi bounties of a gun, a pound of powder, and two pounds of lead for each Chickasaw scalp. Holding their ground, the Chickasaw refused to meet French demands to throw out English traders, and the French were eventually forced to make peace.
Pigeon Roost Road
Pigeon Roost Road was created by the County Court Wednesday, October 22, 1828. It was originally a trail or trace used by the Chickasaw Indians to travel from Mississippi to the river. The County Court was ordered to mark out a road in the direction of Love's settlement (a half breed Chickasaw Indian) near present Pontotoc, Mississippi where there was a creek near Holly Springs named Pigeon Roost Creek. Originally known as the Chickasaw Trace, the early settlers renamed it Pigeon Roost Road because it was the route used to travel to the Holly Springs area where thousands of passenger pigeons came to roost annually. Easy to kill they were soon extinct. In 1906 the name was changed to Lamar Ave. to honor L.Q.C. Lamar, a prominent statesman from Mississippi who was a strong proponent of reconciliation between the North and the South following the Civil War. He was appointed by Jefferson Davis as ambassador to Russia during the Civil War. After the war he served in the House and Senate, served as Secretary of the Interior in Grover Cleveland’s cabinet, and was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1888.
Leading to a large roost of the now-extinct passenger pigeon, Avenues, and on Lamar Boulevard. Before settlement days it was a dry-weather trail used by the Chickasaw Indians. It was improved into a plank road about 1855, and frequently so called.
The town of Byhalia was founded in 1838 when C.W. Rains and Wash Poe purchased land at the intersection of Pigeon Roost Road (now Church Street) and the Collierville-Chulahoma Road (now Highway 309). Pigeon Roost Road was originally the Chickasaw Trail, a long-used Native American path followed by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto in 1541. Pigeon Roost Road had been improved in 1835 to accommodate the removal of the Chickasaw Nation to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).
Source: Shelby County Archives/ Wikipedia